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Tech-savvy governments to embrace Web 2.0

They'll increasingly use social networking and other innovations to increase citizen interaction, business transactions.

New research has indicated that tech-savvy government departments will begin to adopt Web 2.0 applications this year.

"'Gov 2.0' will replace 'e-gov,' as governments seek to gain additional value from citizen interaction and business transactions," Teresa Bozzelli, chief operating officer and managing director of Government Insights, which produced the report, said in a statement. Government Insights is an IDC company based in Fall Church, Va.

Governments are expected to increasingly use social networking and other Web 2.0 innovations as a means of fostering greater participation and dialogue with their citizens, as well as encouraging more effective intragovernment communication.

"A lot of Web 2.0 applications will allow government to change the nature of what they can do, in terms of interaction, but apart from the technical side of things, there will be a greater focus on improving the business of government," said Richard Harris, research vice president at analyst firm Gartner.

"I do think Web 2.0 technologies are likely to have a big impact this year and beyond, in the decisions about applications for governments," he said.

Harris' statements come after Gartner issued a report late last year on the future for government chief information officers under the banner "CIO 2.0." The report concluded that chief information officers themselves would move away from being technocrats as IT becomes more closely integrated with other operations in government departments.

Harris added that e-gov had failed to deliver on expectations, and the development of "Gov 2.0" will be prompted as much by governments needing to replace legacy applications as any attempt at nurturing greater interaction with their citizens.

Marcus Browne of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.